Ten years of innovation

Please join us as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of Cambridge Enterprise Limited, revisit some extraordinary innovations and share a few that we think will soon have a tremendous impact on the world. 

Cambridge University research has, of course, found its way to market for centuries. But it wasn’t until the late 1990s, in the wake of changes to intellectual property law, that the University set up various tech transfer offices. These were consolidated and renamed Cambridge Enterprise. On 1 December 2006, we fledged, becoming a fully independent subsidiary.

Our mandate was to “support the academic community to make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of themselves, the University and the UK economy”.   In the ten years since, we have helped thousands of academics share their expertise as consultants; licensed hundreds of techniques and technologies to existing businesses and helped launch and fund over 100 spin-outs. We have built relationships with investors and companies around the globe and returned millions of pounds to academic departments and the University.

Our primary goal, however, has not been to make money but rather to ensure that great ideas are put to use, for everyone’s benefit. Cambridge University carries out extraordinary research every day. Cambridge Enterprise helps get the fruits of this research out into the world, be it in the form of life-saving drugs or market-altering technologies. These innovations have improved millions of lives. Here are some of those stories.

Image credit: Wilkinson Eyre

The game-changer

The founding of Solexa and the development of rapid, whole genome sequencing.

3 October 2016
Cambridge Enterprise’s support has allowed me to focus on strategic questions. Knowing that important details around legal agreements and company structure were in professional and trustworthy hands has been invaluable.
Professor Henning Sirringhaus, Hitachi Professor of Electron Device Physics, University of Cambridge & Founder, Plastic Logic/FlexEnable
Cambridge Enterprise is wonderfully effective and supportive. It has evolved through several modes over the past two and a half decades and along the way has developed a very special culture.
Sir Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics, Cambridge University

Sticking with it: Campath and the journey from basic research to successful drug

The success of Campath-1H was built on four decades of tireless research and testing.

10 October 2016

Jukedeck takes computer-generated music mainstream

A Cambridge undergrad applied machine learning to music, creating a company that could make composers of us all.

17 October 2016

Give it a go: create your own track!


Innovative in 1961, the Hammersmith flyover was the first UK structure to use precast, segmental, post-tensioned concrete.


The concrete expert and the flyover rescue

How a Cambridge academic helped save the decaying Hammersmith flyover and avert a traffic disaster at the London Olympics.

24 October 2016

Tools for resolving global conflict

Integrative complexity (IC) teaches people to move from ‘black & white’ (or ‘them & us’) thinking to seeing shades of grey.

2 November 2016
Cambridge Enterprise: an engine of translation that helps convert the power of science into economic impacts, driving the creation of jobs and growth that benefits UK Plc.
Derek Jones, Chief Executive, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd
Cambridge Enterprise is a remarkable organisation that is succeeding where many others are failing: successfully commercialising academic technological innovations. Its success is due to outstanding professional staff who understand what makes technology valuable
Henry Kressel, Special Limited Partner, Warburg Pincus, New York

Horizon Discovery edits genes and breaks records

At £68.6m the company's 2014 initial public offering hit an all-time high for a life science company from the Cambridge Cluster.

8 November 2016

Heads up for safety

A laser holographic system projects speed and other information onto the windscreen so drivers can keep their eyes on the road.

15 November 2016
Cambridge academics are distinguished by the exceptional importance and value of their ideas and discoveries to society. The clear and straightforward priority for Cambridge Enterprise has been to support researchers in realising this value through commercialisation: there is much to celebrate.
Sir Keith O’Nions, Former President and Rector of Imperial College London

Conquering blood clots without causing bleeding

Ichorcumab, the product of X01 Limited, performs a delicate biological balancing act.

25 November 2016

Teaching computers to listen, comprehend and learn

Entropic Inc. and VocalIQ have made it ever easier for computers to understand human speech.

30 November 2016
Cambridge Enterprise is a world class technology transfer office, a vital support for the world class research activities of the University.
Edward Benthall, Chairman, The Eden Trust
The breadth of scientific understanding and industrial experience provided by both the operational team and the executive board means that Cambridge Enterprise ‘customers’ have important and effective access to expert advice and guidance.
Jane Osbourn, Vice President, MedImmune

The Cambridge game-changer for the next decade

Cambridge Epigenetix is on the cutting edge of the epigenetics revolution.

2 December 2016
Week 1
Week 10